Grow light....what do I need to get please?

greenclaws UKzone8aSeptember 29, 2009

Hi, after 'talking' with some of you about my Desert Roses, one of which has a few buds, I'm looking into the idea of getting a grow light to help them through the winter months as I'm aware that some of you use these. Could you tell me what I need to look for please as I've no experience with them at all?

Thanks again for your help, Gill.

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Hi Gill....

After being here for so long, would you believe that I just found out there is a forums on the site that discusses this..

Look under.....Growing under lights...

Hopefully you'll get alot of help there. I didn't, but maybe your question is easier than mine was..

I never used grow lights on mine. I always just stuck them in full sun, even in the winter, and they did just fine..A window sill is perfect..

Let me know if growing under a growlight does well, will ya.
There are two types...One for blooming and one for vegetative growth..

The "sodium" halide for blooming, and the "metal" halide for green, or vegatative growth..

Buy at least 350 watts or more, and make sure this particular plant is at least 3 feet or closer to the bulbs..That is what I had to do for my tropicals and plumies to grow fast and well..
I assume that a desert plant needs more intense light than them, who knows?
It will be interesting to see what response you get, since I may have to start doing the same with mine...


    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 8:29AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Mike, thanks for the reply. Well what d'ya know? Never occured to me either that there was a dedicated grow light forum either!
Mmmmmmh, all sounds rather, errrrr, 'electrical' to me what with what watt to choose etc etc! Having recently done the supposedly environmentally correct thing and swapped every regular light bulb in the house to a low energy one and now heres comes lil'ole me investigating using +350w worth on one light...haha! Off to a garden centre soon to see what I can find...or not.
Thanks for the info anyway.
Cheers, Gill.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 12:33PM
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But this can all be confusing, and it is one of those things that some may tell tell to use a regular light bulb, a spot light, to a shop lamp, all the way up to some hundred dollar halides and ballast.....

Some will just keep your plant alive, while others will make it stay in a vegatative growth, right through winter.

I guess this is one of those things where you will probably have to figure what you want, and then go from there. You may even have to try different lighting until you see how your plants respond.

I went to a hydroponic store that sells all different kinds, and asked them for direction.. After spending almost 1000 dollars for a couple, here it is now that my plants thrive all winter. I never tried a desert rose under them yet. I was told to buy an intense close up light to keep them active and blooming, like lets say a 1000 watt can do.
Not in my budget...So I was told at least to use a 350-600 one, and to keep closer than 3 feet...ok, maybe if I have to bring it home..

Hopefully, someone can give you the answer your looking for to make it as easy as possible and least expensive to enjoy them all winter to..My desert rose still has the honor of sitting at work in full winter sun...

Goodluck, and nice meeting you all the way from where you are...Nice.

maybe someday I will finally be able to visit England. I here it's beautiful there!:-)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 1:08PM
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I grow orchids and 3 Plumeria's. In winter I use CFL's in floor lamps. I buy the bulbs in Home Depot (you can find them everywhere now).I buy CFL's which are the equilivant to 150W. I believe they are 40W. I also use smaller bulbs, 32W & 24W. They are cheap and do the trick. You won't get flowers, but you will get vegetative growth. I use them to get my orchids to finish maturing their new growths. I can flower some lower light plant under them.

I know they work for the Plumeria's because I've put mine under them to break dormancy and get them going before they can go outside. I've also used Wonderlites (google them) which are higher intensity but get hot. I put them in a clamp-type fixture which are used in workshops. I buy cheap floor lamps (octopus type) and use them all winter on my orchids. I use them on the Plumeria's about Feb/March to give them a few months head start before going out.

I'm a little embarrassed to show this photo, but these are cheap floor lamps which cost anywhere from $8.00-$15.00. Each hold 4-6 bulbs. This is what my living-room looks like over winter.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 10:52PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Jane, what a great idea! I been wanting to add some more CFL lights into my garage and basement lighting setups to lighten dark corners. This may be one way to do it.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 8:17AM
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Jane..I wish I had met you before I lost all my dollars to those costly lights!!!!

I think I will still do a set up like this, and see how much money I save in my electric bill.....Probabaly alot more..

GREAT idea..Thanks for sharing!:-)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 8:43AM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Thanks again to those who have responded. Some good info, as you suggest Mike, it's down to budget and experimenting I guess. Jane, looks like you have had good results then from just using the CFL's, maybe that is the way to go.
Again, thanks to all.
Best wishes, Gill
PS Mike, I hope you can make it to the UK sometime, there are some lovely things to see and do, and the countryside is stunning....but being bought up in it, I would say that wouldn't I?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 12:17PM
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Hi, I too am trying to find the correct light for a Desert Rose. I got a 400nm UV Led light and after a few days (12hr cycle) the leaves started burning up!!! (large brown spots and falling off, light is 3' away). So I changed to a non UV red/blue led light but still the leaves seem to be getting worse (at a slower pace). I cut back to 8hrs/day and dimmed it some but this thing is suppose to get lots of sun and all this light is going to do at this rate is (perhaps) keep it alive. I see all over the place the LED lights are the way to go, what am I doing wrong? Also note that I have a plant-smart senser and it says the water and fertilizer are ok, just light is the problem.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 12:37PM
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I'm new to grow lights as well, but I had to get something as I have many seedlings that are in their first year and not supposed to go dormant. I ended up getting a T5 fixture, 4 lights, 4 feet long.

It was $98 including shipping on ebay. (That's for shipping in the US, I don't know about other locations)From what I read the T5's are the newest type of tube grow light, supposedly more efficient and better than it's predecessors the T8 and T12. These are also supposed to stay cooler than many of the other types of lights, not as expensive as the LED's, and the wattage is higher than what Home Depot and the box stores sell and also beat their prices too. For my budget this seemed like a great option. You can get vegetative or bloom lights, for me I got vegetative. My boyfriend saw the size of this thing and thought I paid $300 or $400!!! LOL!!! Thank goodness I got to tell him it was nowhere near that!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 1:39PM
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Hi, I have had good luck with CCFL/T5 in the past but I am trying to set up some plants to display and need a small light above each which make LED's perfect.

Thankx for the suggestion!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 5:17PM
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This quote is from that Greenhouse website regarding LED's: LED grow lights are the newest lighting option for plants. They are advertised to be the most efficient and coolest running grow lights available. We have tested several different types of LED grow lights and have found none that outperform much cheaper fluorescent grow lights of similar wattage. LED plant grow lights are also not recommended for use with plants that you want to be viewed, because they give plants an unnatural appearance when the light is on.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:58PM
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I have three T5 fixtures in a basement room, since my growing season is so short here in northern Utah. I have plumerias blooming most of the winter. Now I have a Daisy Wilcox just budding that I brought inside a month ago. I have about 30 plumeria plants under grow lights.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:00PM
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Hi Gill, Long time no chat with....I fell of the garden forum awhile back, now am back. I grow my Desert Rose all through the year, and they bloom all year round. I just keep them inside in a sunny window. I've used grow lights in the past put have found the warm window works like a charm. Right now I have a bunch in front of the big window sitting on a ...can't think of the word...grow mat/seed mat? Keeps their little bottoms warm. If you still have my email, shoot me an email. Would like to hear about how your little plumeria's are doing, and of course, how you are doing!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 6:55PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Hi Laurie, sent you a PM via Gweb, hope you got it? Will not be around now till end of November. Catch up with you later and explain.
Take care, Gill from the UK.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 7:55PM
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I did not get the message. Not sure where to go to get the PM's on the Gweb. Maybe it went to my email and I accidently got rid of it. When you get back send me another.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 6:54AM
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